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Travis Co. residents owed around $150M in unclaimed property

There is $4 billion in unclaimed property still owed to many Texans. The state is actively searching for those people to give that money back. (CBS Austin)

There is $4 billion in unclaimed property still owed to many Texans. The state is actively searching for those people to give that money back.

Richard Bittner is one of them, and he's hoping to use some of the funds to help pay off his medical bills.

"I wasn't really hoping to get this sick, this fast, and when it happened, it was like, okay, you have no choice, you need to get in control of this," Richard Bittner said.

When he got into a car accident many years ago, he found himself set back both physically and financially.

"I've had three major surgeries in the last year, and so I have bills that obviously you have to pay to your doctors," Bittner told CBS Austin.

He receives disability benefits now, but says it's difficult to make ends meet.

"I could pay the bills, could buy groceries whenever I needed to, to watching every single penny going in and out," Bittner said.

When he went to a Travis County unclaimed property event in Pflugerville on Tuesday, he thought he'd get back about $150. Instead, he found out he was owed more than $1,200 for an extra house payment he made years ago.

"It all worked out really cool," Bittner said.

In Travis County alone, residents are owed nearly $150 million.

"This money is sitting in the state treasury, and it has been turned over to the state, whether it might be a royalty proceed, it could be a deposit that you put down for electricity and you move somewhere," Glenn Hegar

That's money people, like Richard, will get to put back in their wallets

He plans to do some of the things he's missed out on over the years, like visiting family, and enjoying simple luxuries, like going to the movies.

"I really didn't have an expectation of difficulty, but I wasn't expecting it to be nearly as helpful," Bittner told CBS Austin.

To see how much money you're owed, you can visit claimittexas.org and enter your first and last name and zip code or call 1-800-654-FIND (3463).

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